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No decision on EU sanctions against Turkey, discussion to continue

The Turkish drillship Fatih

EU sanctions against Turkey following its activity in the Cyprus EEZ are set to be agreed on Thursday by the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (Coreper).

Discussion at Coreper level on a list of proposed measures prepared by the EU Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) began on Wednesday and will continue on Thursday.

Sources told the Cyprus News Agency the diplomats representing the member states at Coreper were expected to agree to an announcement on the proposed measures which will be adopted by the EU foreign ministers on Monday.

The proposed measures reportedly concern cutting pre-accession assistance to Turkey by €145.8m next year and the re-evaluation of the European Investment Bank’s activities in Turkey, as well as a suspension of a series of dialogues at ministerial level on the economy, agriculture, energy and transport but also meetings between top EU officials and Turkey.

It is also expected that the European Commission will declare its readiness to impose targeted measures against companies and persons related to Turkey’s drilling activities should member-states deem such action necessary.

The head of the EU Commission representation in Cyprus Ierotheos Papadopoulos said during an event in Nicosia that the EU services had acted swiftly as regards the list of measures as per the request of the European Council of June 20.

The list is being discussed at ambassador level at Coreper.

“Ambassadors will discuss the various choices we have jointly presented (with the EEAS) and it is then up to the ministers’ council,” Papadopoulos said.

He added that the EU’s Foreign and General Affairs Councils are convening next week would decide the course of further actions.

A government source told CNA earlier in the day that the proposed measures against Turkey were within expectations.

“Our aim is to announce and enforce measures as soon as possible,” the unnamed source said, although there was no timeframe.

Turkey’s activity in the Eastern Mediterranean was also discussed at the College of Commissioners. The Commission’s Chief Spokesman stated that “the College discussed the state of play in the relations with Turkey and the illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

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